Ever wonder what sick building syndrome is?

63% of children in a single Virginia school district are diagnosed as having ADHD, says the USA Today. Some reasons:

This raises suspicions: Are some teachers using ADHD to control unruly students, particularly boys, who are naturally more rambunctious? Are parents seeking an edge for unfocused children who are struggling academically? Are time-pressed doctors handing out prescriptions based on little more than a 15-minute chat and a teacher's ...

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BiDil isn't doing too well:

NitroMed's only product, BiDil, was introduced with much fanfare last year, after the Food and Drug Administration made it the first drug approved for use by a single racial group.

The American Heart Association officially designated BiDil as a major treatment advance after research indicated it could extend the lives of black heart-failure patients by 43 percent over 18 months. And some financial ...

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Young age does not rule out a heart attack.

Congratulations Dr. Charles.

A word on comments

As you know, this blog evokes spirited discussion on hot-button medical topics. Many have written about the vitriolic nature of selected comments and asked me to "do something about it". Some thoughts:

1) I believe it goes against the spirit of a blog to moderate or censure comments (except for spam). The anonymous nature the comments gives people the opportunity to "tell it like it is". ...

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Arrested for doctor shopping:

A Utah couple went on a shopping spree for prescriptions and now they're facing serious charges. The couple went to a doctor for pain they didn't have.

Joe Christensen: "They were both going to doctors separately and sharing the drugs."

Money-wise, this is the biggest case of prescription drug fraud investigators have seen, but the crime of 'doctor shopping' is happening more and ...

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More support for a junk-food tax. Discussed here previously.

Beware of EMLA cream when going to medical spas:

The North Carolina Medical Board filed unprofessional conduct charges Thursday against a doctor who headed a laser hair removal clinic where a student died last year.

Shiri Berg, a 22-year-old North Carolina State University student, died of a Lidocaine overdose Jan. 5, 2005, after she applied a powerful anesthetic gel to her legs in preparation for a laser treatment ...

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Instant gratification:

Some 42% of 18 to 29-year-olds told a survey for insurer easyMoney.com they would miss a trip to the doctor as they did not want to wait for appointments.
And some wonder why appointments are so short. There is a cost to being on time.

The myth of bed-rest efficacy in pregnancy:

Dr. Maloni's investigations reveal that obstetricians in the United States tend to discount both the side effects of bed rest and to believe in its value in the face of evidence to the contrary . . . Dr. Maloni hypothesizes that fear of lawsuits may also play a part in its widespread prescription. Bed rest convinces patients and doctors alike that everything ...

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A malpractice case from the Massachusetts Medical Law Report:

A 38-year old patient presented to the emergency room with complaints of chest pain and diaphoresis.

He was hyperventilating and complained that his arm was feeling numb. An EKG revealed ST elevations. Cardiac enzymes were within normal limits.

The emergency room doctor administered 1 mg of Ativan. Several minutes later, the patient was found to be unresponsive, cyanotic ...

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Fear of litigation led to hospital inaction regarding the killer nurse:

During his 16-year nursing career, Cullen was able to move from one hospital to another - to 10 medical facilities in all - because fear of litigation prevented those hospitals from giving him a bad reference. Co-workers observed his strange behavior, and caught him in rooms of patients with medications that weren't appropriate. But they didn't know he ...

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Patient dumping captured on video:

A videocamera recorded a 63-year-old hospital patient dressed only in a gown and slippers being dumped onto a skid row street - a controversial practice that has come under fire from police, politicians and homeless advocates . . .

. . . The videotape, recorded by a camera mounted outside the downtown Union Rescue Mission, shows a taxicab making a U-turn and driving ...

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The two words most likely to cause more patient/doctor tension (other than "I'll sue") are "second opinion."

Surprising. I have no problem with patients asking for another opinion. With so many grey areas in diagnosis and treatment, it never hurts to obtain another viewpoint. And I won't comment on the risk-management benefits of obtaining several physicians' opinions.

No surprise, but doctors are giving less free care today:

Overall, higher-paid specialists or doctors working in small private practices were more likely to provide charity care than internists, pediatricians or those employed by large managed-care companies, the survey found.

The LA Times pities Mark McClellan.

An ivory-tower physician makes a bit of sense:

This leaves the solution to the problem in the hands of our patients. You, the patient, are the system's best hope. In the age of seven-minute health care, you need to realize that you employ doctors. That is, your doctor works for you. Although doctors shouldn't think of patients as customers, you can, and should, adopt a business mind-set when shopping ...

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An ER is giving away free movie tickets if you are not seen within 30 minutes.

The British Medical Association writes about blogging. Thanks Dr. Crippen.

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